URBANREC is an innovative project capable of converting bulky waste into raw materials for the manufacture of foams, plastics and additives for bio-fuels.

Coordinated by the Aimplas Plastics Technology Centre, this project is an excellent example of public-private partnership. It features the participation of 21 partners, including companies, technology centres and local bodies from seven European countries.

The URBANREC project is an ambitious initiative which seeks to recover bulky waste throughout Europe. Over 60% of this type of waste currently ends up in landfills. URBANREC seeks to endow this waste with a second life and, thanks to the new technologies being developed, it is estimated that the project will enable a recovery rate of 82%, thereby contributing to environmental enhancement in urban areas. The implementation of this new management model in municipalities seeks to improve prevention, recycling and reuse of bulky waste. For the purpose of demonstrating the benefits of this model, the URBANREC project has set itself the target of recovering 20 tonnes of bulky waste in the province of Valencia.

The Provincial Council of Valencia and the Valencia Inland Consortium will be responsible for implementing project innovations in the day-to-day management of bulky waste in the province of Valencia. Valencia is one of the four European regions selected for the study, along with Flanders (Belgium), Warsaw (Poland) and Izmir (Turkey).

What is bulky waste?

Bulky waste is waste which, because of its shape, size or weight, cannot be collected by conventional waste collection services and requires special management and treatment in accordance with its characteristics. The most common examples of bulky waste include household fittings, furniture, upholstery, textiles and garden furniture. The management of this waste poses a great environmental problem for municipalities throughout Europe due to handling and transportation costs, environmental impact, the emergence of uncontrolled landfills and the saturation of municipal facilities.

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Published in: FuturENVIRO #42 July-August 201